Another year means another fleet of flagship phones vying for your attention and your wallet. Advances in manufacturing, powerful new chips, and a revitalized software landscape make it harder than ever for users to choose a new phone. We’ve selected three of this year’s most anticipated devices to analyze, starting first with the story of a much-needed PR comeback.
Samsung Galaxy S8
Let’s be honest: Samsung badly needed a win after the non-stop headlines last year resulting from their exploding batteries. Despite an ad campaign revolving around their new and improved safety compliance process, consumers remain wary of the South Korean manufacturer. Good thing for Samsung their latest flagship has critics and power users alike swooning.
In terms of hardware, the Galaxy S8 is unlike anything Samsung (and, by extension, Apple) has produced before. Finally escaping the shadow of Apple’s aluminum unibody form factor, the S8 almost feels like you’re holding only a screen. Its curved edges and lack of large bezels truly make it feel like a device from the future. Samsung had a high bar to clear, but they’ve nailed the execution of this year’s offerings.
On the software front, the most prominent talking point about the S8 is Samsung’s new digital assistant, Bixby. The manufacturer even went so far as to dedicate a single hardware button on the side of the phone to interact with their digital assistant – one of the few shortcomings critics cite when discussing this phone. The verdict is still out on whether or not average users derive value from such a feature, but it’s clear Samsung is trying to establish a foothold in a space dominated by Apple, Amazon, and Google. Time will tell if users embrace their efforts.
Google’s Pixel 2
The search giant has flirted with hardware production before, through its Nexus phones and tablets. But last year’s Pixel and Pixel XL mark the first time Google married its software to its own hardware. The result was an impressive debut, a polished product that could stand toe-to-toe with the likes of Apple and Samsung. But what does the future hold for Google’s Pixel line?
The rumor mill indicates that the next iteration of the Pixel will sport the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SOC, planting it firmly in the premium hardware segment. Unlike its previously affordable Nexus entries, like the Nexus 7 and Nexus 5, Google is looking to compete for turf formerly owned by Samsung and Apple. You can count on the next Pixel to cost at least $500 or more.
In terms of hardware revisions, a report from TechRadar speculates the new Pixel will be waterproof, delete its headphone jack, and might feature a curved display. These hardware revisions seem to indicate Google is looking closely at its competitors, integrating what’s been a hit with users into their own hardware. We won’t know for sure until fall of this year to see if their changes will pay off.
Nokia’s Unannounced Flagship
No, you’re not experiencing déjà vu. Nokia seems to be positioning itself to once again try and fight its way back into the flagship phone arena. Previously, under Microsoft’s stewardship, Nokia attempted to carve out a niche for its hardware with premium integrated cameras. However, the fact the devices ran Windows Mobile is often cited by critics and reviewers as a reason the phones never acquired a significant adoption rate.
Earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress 2017, Nokia made a flurry of announcements, including the comeback of its beloved 3310. Most importantly, though, these new phones will all be sporting Android as their OS. Missing from their announcements was the presence of a flagship to rival Apple and Samsung’s offerings.
Leaks indicate that Nokia is planning to offer a premium smartphone that will run Android and a 2560×1440 display, most likely running a Snapdragon 835 under the hood. It’s far too early to tell whether or not this new and improved Android Nokia will be able to make a mark in a crowded market, but it could be a historic turnaround for the veteran phone brand.
No matter what hardware hits the market this year, our engineers and developers will be paying close attention to developments in mobile technology. As the industry changes and evolves, so too does our approach to developing powerful apps for our clients. It doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur with a singular vision or an organization that needs an enterprise solution: Zco is ready to help make your ideas into software. Get in touch with us today, and make sure to check out our previous work.